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America, Human Rights, and Israel’s War on Palestine

Human rights are human rights, and they are part of international law under the UN Charter. Whether the case is Xinjiang and the Uighurs, Myanmar and the Rohingya, or Israel and the Palestinian Arabs, the correct way to defend international law is through the United Nations, starting with an independent investigation under the auspices of the UN Human Rights Council.

NEW YORK – Israel’s attempt to justify its latest brutal assault on Gaza rings hollow to anybody familiar with events in Israel, where the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, backed by anti-Arab racists, has systematically, cruelly, and persistently violated the basic human rights of the Arab population. Human Rights Watch, a global NGO with many Jewish leaders, has recently condemned Israel for crimes against humanity.

Israel’s behavior puts US President Joe Biden’s administration, which professes a foreign policy based on human rights, under the spotlight. If that commitment is genuine, the administration should support an independent UN investigation of Israeli human rights violations against the Arab population and suspend military aid to Israel until the inquiry is completed and the human rights of the Palestinians are secured.

The antecedents of Israel’s recent airstrikes and artillery attacks on Gaza were Israeli threats to expel Palestinians from their home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem and Israeli-provoked violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque, one of Islam’s holiest sites. Right-wing Israelis marched through East Jerusalem chanting “death to Arabs.” Rocket fire from Gaza soon followed, which may well have been Netanyahu’s objective. He is fighting for his political life in the face of a looming corruption trial, and fomenting and exploiting anti-Arab hatred has long served him well in pursuing and holding on to power.

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